Symptoms and Types

Hypermobile EDS is the most common type of EDS. Rarer types include classical EDS, vascular EDS and kyphoscoliotic EDS.

Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes (EDS)

Main Types of EDS

Hypermobile EDS is the most common type of EDS. Rarer types include classical EDS, vascular EDS and kyphoscoliotic EDS.

  • Hypermobile EDS.
  • Classical EDS.
  • Vascular EDS.
  • Kyphoscoliotic EDS.

Hypermobile EDS

Hypermobile EDS (hEDS) is often thought to be the same as or very similar to another condition called joint hypermobility syndrome.

People with hEDS may have:

  • Joint hypermobility.
  • Loose, unstable joints that dislocate easily.
  • Joint pain and clicking joints.
  • Extreme tiredness (fatigue).
  • Skin that bruises easily.
  • Digestive problems, such as heartburn and constipation.
  • Dizziness and an increased heart rate after standing up.
  • Problems with internal organs, such as mitral valve prolapse or organ prolapse
  • Problems with bladder control (stress incontinence).

Currently, there are no tests to confirm whether someone has hEDS. The diagnosis is made based on a person's medical history and a physical examination.

Classical EDS

Classical EDS (cEDS) is less common than hypermobile EDS and tends to affect the skin more.

People with cEDS may have:

  • Joint hypermobility.
  • Loose, unstable joints that dislocate easily.
  • Stretchy skin.
  • Fragile skin that can split easily – especially over the forehead, knees, shins and elbows.
  • Smooth, velvety skin that bruises easily.
  • Wounds that are slow to heal and leave wide scars.
  • Hernias and organ prolapse.

Vascular EDS

Vascular EDS (vEDS) is a rare type of EDS and is often considered to be the most serious. It affects the blood vessels and internal organs, which can cause them to split open and lead to life-threatening bleeding.

People with vEDS may have:

  • Skin that bruises very easily.
  • Thin skin with visible small blood vessels, particularly on the upper chest and legs .
  • Fragile blood vessels that can bulge or tear, resulting in serious internal bleeding.
  • A risk of organ problems, such as the bowel tearing, the womb tearing (in late pregnancy) and partial collapse of the lung.
  • Hypermobile fingers and toes, unusual facial features, (such as a thin nose and lips, large eyes and small earlobes), varicose veins and delayed wound healing.

Kyphoscoliotic EDS

Kyphoscoliotic EDS (kEDS) is rare.

People with kEDS may have:

  • Curvature of the spine – this starts in early childhood and often gets worse in the teenage years.
  • Joint hypermobility.
  • Loose, unstable joints that dislocate easily.
  • Weak muscle tone from childhood (hypotonia) – this may cause a delay in sitting and walking, or difficulty walking if symptoms get worse.
  • Fragile eyes that can easily be damaged.
  • Soft, velvety skin that is stretchy, bruises easily and scars.